Buda's Wagon by Mike Davis
A Brief History of the Car Bomb

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 6 Critic Reviews



On a September day in 1920, an angry Italian anarchist named Mario Budaexploded a horse-drawn wagon filled with dynamite and iron scrap nearNew York’s Wall Street, killing 40 people. Since Buda’s prototype thecar bomb has evolved into a “poor man’s air force,” a generic weapon ofmass destruction that now craters cities from Bombay to Oklahoma City.

In this brilliant and disturbing history, Mike Davis traces itsworldwide use and development, in the process exposing the role ofstate intelligence agencies—particularly those of the United States,Israel, India, and Pakistan—in globalizing urban terrorist techniques.Davis argues that it is the incessant impact of car bombs, rather thanthe more apocalyptic threats of nuclear or bio-terrorism, that ischanging cities and urban lifestyles, as privileged centers of powerincreasingly surround themselves with “rings of steel” against a weaponthat nevertheless seems impossible to defeat.

About Mike Davis

See more books from this Author
Mike Davis is the author of several books including City of Quartz , Ecology of Fear , Late Victorian Holocausts , and Magical Urbanism . He was recently awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives in Papa'aloa, Hawaii.
Published April 17, 2007 by Verso. 228 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Buda's Wagon

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

His tone sounds more furiously calm with each campaign, as the car bomb - so cheap, efficient and simple - expands into a global deterrent, the unanswerable weapon that "gives claws to the weak".

Aug 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Buda's Wagon: A Brief History...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

From the world's first car bomb in 1920 (actually a horse-drawn wagon, exploded by anarchist Mario Buda in downtown Manhattan), to those incessantly exploding in Iraq, Davis shows how these "quotidian workhorses of urban terrorism" are responsible for "producing the most significant mutations in ...

Jan 22 2007 | Read Full Review of Buda's Wagon: A Brief History...

London Review of Books

Doing away with the ‘artificial shortage of property rights’ in slums, Davis argues, will simply create new divisions between owners and non-owners, making the latter visible to government and adding a new pressure – taxation – to those that exist already: this seems to have been the case with pr...

| Read Full Review of Buda's Wagon: A Brief History...

News Review.

Invoking George Orwell—using a simple weapon gives claws to the weak—he takes us on a whirlwind tour from 1940s Haifa and Jerusalem through Vietnam in the ’60s, Belfast in the ’70s, Beirut in the ’80s, London in the ’90s, and the “winged car bomb of 9/11” to Iraq.

Jun 14 2007 | Read Full Review of Buda's Wagon: A Brief History...

News Review.

Car bombs—and truck bombs and bicycle bombs—are cheap, easy to make, tough to stop and effective.

May 10 2007 | Read Full Review of Buda's Wagon: A Brief History...


From Saigon, where CIA agents assisted a Vietnamese warlord in his car bomb campaign against Saigon and Hanoi and after his death continued on their own, to Baghdad, where rumors fly daily about which governments are really behind the assorted bombings ...

Mar 31 2007 | Read Full Review of Buda's Wagon: A Brief History...

Reader Rating for Buda's Wagon

An aggregated and normalized score based on 8 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review